Potato pinwheels earn resident a spot in Pillsbury Bake-Off

After whipping up a new recipe, Glori Spriggs and her daughter would always joke around while tasting the dish.

“My daughter would say, ‘It’s good, but it’s not Pillsbury Bake-Off good,’ ” Spriggs said.

Every recipe she and her daughter tried turned out delicious in their opinion, but they wanted something that would stand out.

Spriggs had tried for several years to create new recipes to qualify her for the competition. This year, her appetizer, loaded potato pinwheels, yielded a different reaction.

“My daughter said, ‘This is Pillsbury-good,’ ” she recalled.

And the company and online voters agreed.

Spriggs made it to the Pillsbury Bake-Off finals, scheduled for Nov. 10 -12 at the Aria, 3730 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

She said she didn’t get into cooking until her mid-20s.

“I got my first apartment,” she said. “I wanted to entertain and have friends over. So I learned how to cook.”

After she got married and had her daughter, she continued to try new recipes.

“I wanted to make sure my daughter had home-cooked meals,” she said. “We would even cook together.”

Her daughter still comes over to cook alongside her.

About 10 years ago, while watching the Food Network — where she gets inspiration for ideas — she discovered the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

“I thought, ‘Well, I can do that,’ ” she said.

Martine Larson, a spokeswoman for the Pillsbury Bake-Off, said the contest has been around since the late 1940s.

“The first competition was held in 1949 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City,” she said. “The very first grand prize was awarded to Mrs. Theodora Smafield of Rockford, Ill., for her No-Knead Water-Rising Twists.”

The competition proved popular, and the company brought it back the next year, Larson said.

“The Pillsbury Bake-Off contest was held annually from 1949 to 1978, when it switched to an every-other-year schedule,” she said. “Tens of thousands of people enter each contest.”

Spriggs has created new dishes for the last few competitions.

From cheesecake puffs to breakfast sliders, she would submit recipes, hoping to make it to the semifinals.

This year, she entered the starters and desserts category.

While eating one of the qualifying items for 2013 — potatoes by Green Giant — she instantly got an idea.

“It’s like a loaded baked potato,” she said.

But this one is stuffed in a Pillsbury dough.

Friends and family raved over the recipe.

She sent it to Pillsbury and waited to hear back from the first-round judges in June.

“I got the email announcing the finalists and didn’t think they would pick me,” she said.

But she was in the top 60, meaning she was a semifinalist.

The next part of the competition was for online voting, where the public decides its favorites in each category. Only 34 are chosen.

“My daughter posted it on Facebook,” she said. “I told my family about it. I never thought I’d be picked.”

Spriggs has been practicing the recipe at least once a week.

“I go to a different friend’s house each time to try the recipe in different ovens,” she said. “No oven is the same. I also try different cookie sheets. Sometimes it comes out perfect. Sometimes it needs work.”

Spriggs is competing for a $1 million prize.

“Sometimes I can’t help but think about the prize and how life-changing it would be,” she said. “Then I bring myself back to reality. I’m just excited to be a part of the competition.”

Along with her excitement to be a finalist, Spriggs said she is proud to have her recipe chosen and featured on the website.

“I was looking at the blog on Pillsbury,” she said. “The editor wrote such positive things about my recipe. It was wonderful to see.”

On the day of the competition, she will have three attempts to make her perfect batch for the judges.

“One batch goes to the judges, one goes to the audience and the other for photos,” she said. “You choose your best to send to the judges. If you’re not satisfied with any of those batches, you’re out of luck.”

Even if she doesn’t win, she has enjoyed the opportunity, she said.

Spriggs said she will return to the competition, eyeing the breakfast category.

“I had some ideas beforehand,” she said. “After I was chosen for this category, I pushed them aside.”

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 702-387-5201.

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